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Did a 300 mile journey and had to refill when I started the engine the following morning. That distance is down to around 100 miles ?
There is witness of coolant in the area of the header tank (pink residue on surrounding pipe work). System holds pressure fine and I've replaced the header tank cap. No witness of water on the oil dipstick and it never goes above 90 degrees temperature wise. Any ideas would be appreciated. Is it worth changing the header tank as the loss of coolant seems to be in this region (as opposed to water pump or head)
 

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Hi Pal,

Is this the 1.9 BRS engine? If so a common fault on this was the head gasket passing allowing exhaust gasses into the coolant system pressuring it and spewing out the coolant towards the passenger side bulkhead and covering all nearby pipework.

I had mine done 2 years ago at around 90,000 miles and has been fine since. Tell tale sign is to drive the van like normal, Leave it to totally cool overnight and then before starting it the next day remove the coolant reservoir cap and see if it bubbles, gurgles and is still pressurised...

I went through the hassle of changing the thermostat, housing, cap etc but it turned out to be the Head gasket with teh smallest of leaks between cylinders 1 & 2... But a sniff test didn't pick this up..

There have been quite a few instances on here of this engine doing exactly this and its always been the head gasket... Think Builder Jay had this issue too
 

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Same here on a 2008 I've changed the rad, the water pump, thermostat, & housing I hate this vehicle bought it at 98k done 20k one day it overheats the next it's great, one day I do 10 miles in it and overheats the next 100 it's the worse, no sorry, very worse vehicle I've ever owned I had a fiat ducato before this lump of and did 150k in it problem free, apart from its looks it's e..... I'll never buy another
 

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I bought a 2006 T5 T28 1.9.

Since week one it lost water on a motorway run every 30miles or so. Its been pressuring out of the header tank and down right side of engine bay. In addition it held pressure the morning after when cold. Several people on forums etc point towards the head gasket with it holding pressure. Tried a new header and cap. Nothing. Presssure test revealed no external water loss. Reluctantly the head came off. It was skimmed and an uprated gasket put on. Whilst they were at it had a new water pump and new cambelt put on. Back it came.

For 350 miles it was fine then I went on a longer journey to try her out. Coolant light on again. Exact same symptoms as before. Water all over right side. Back it went to the mech. Head went back to be re checked for level and crack tested again. Both were fine. The gasket looked to have failed so putting it down to a bad gasket a different type was put on. I got it back again and again for 350-400 miles was fine on short motorway journey. No pressure the following day and no water loss. Ive recently been on a long journey and 145miles in coolant light came on. Back to square one. Water in all the same places.
My mech is stumped and Ive been to VW who havnt heard anything like it. My mech and VW are talking down the lines of cracked blocks/head.

The head has been checked and comes back fine. The temp has never gone 90 and the van drives perfectly otherwise. Its only done 73k.

This week for the first time. The temp guage went over 90 in addition to the coolant lights coming on after 3 miles on the motorway.

Stat is currently out for checking. Seems to open fine in a boiling pan of water.


Im hoping im not staring down the barrel of a new engine. ... im currently living an absolute nightmare.

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